As many as 12 million Americans over the age of 12 have used methamphetamines (or meth) at least once in their lifetimes, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. As one of the more popular stimulant drugs, methamphetamine – a synthetic stimulant drug – ranks as the fourth common cause for drug-related emergency room admissions. Like most stimulant drugs, methamphetamines can cause any number of unexpected health emergencies when used in excess.
For some people, a medical emergency becomes the needed wake-up call that drives them to seek out treatment for meth addiction. For others, the drug’s effects keep them enmeshed in the addiction lifestyle. If you’ve been using methamphetamines on a regular basis, you’re probably starting to feel some of the signs of meth addiction.
While everyone’s body reacts differently, most people will experience certain signs that point to an addiction at work. The five most common signs that a person needs treatment for meth addiction include:
1. Taking Larger Doses
Stimulant drugs have a way of taking over the brain’s normal chemical processes. The more meth a person takes the more the drug starts to control vital brain functions.
As the brain grows weaker, more of the drug is needed to maintain somewhat normal brain functioning. If you find yourself needing increasingly larger doses to experience the same “high” effects, it may be time to seek out treatment for meth addiction.
Once a person reaches a certain point, no amount of meth will produce the desired “high” effects. That being so, the brain’s need or craving for larger doses of methamphetamines can drive a person to ingest repeated doses of the drug in one sitting. This behavior is known as tweaking.
According to the University of Maryland, tweaking can cause a person to lose days and days of sleep as well as bring on dangerous and unstable behavior displays. These are clears signs that treatment for meth addiction is needed.
3. Unhealthy Appearance
If the user doesn’t think it’s time to get treatment for meth addiction, friends and family may feel differently as he or she starts to take on an unhealthy appearance.
- Dark circles under the eyes appear from lack of sleep.
- Personal hygiene declines as meth become the focus in the user’s life.
- Tactile hallucinations of bugs crawling cause users to pick at their skin and leave unsightly sores.
- A pale, sallow complexion results from poor dietary habits.
4. Psychotic Behaviors
Once a person starts exhibiting psychotic behaviors, the need for treatment for meth addiction is all the more pressing. Psychotic behaviors may include:
- Experiencing hallucinations
- Violent behavior
- Mood swings
In the absence of treatment for meth addiction, addicts become a danger to themselves and others.
5. Immune System Problems
Someone who uses meth on a regular basis will eventually reach a point of “burn-out.” Extensive damage to brain and body structures places a person’s immune system at considerable risk.
Without treatment for meth addiction, a person’s physical state continues to decline to the point where he or she is at risk of developing life-threatening conditions, such as stroke and heart attack.